1. You are an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS). What does it stand for and how can it help our treatment?
OCS stands for Orthopedic Clinical Specialist. This is the specialty to treat the most common injuries around us such as muscle strain, ligament sprain, tendonitis, arthritis, muscle tear, cervicogenic headaches, myofascial restriction, trigger point pain, joint pain, and post-surgical rehabilitation.
Patients with orthopedic conditions can have a thorough exam and quality treatment from the orthopedic specialist at our office. In the first session, the doctor will make a 'Plan of Care' to resolve your problem and explain it to you. It will result in faster recovery with long-term effect.
Manual Therapy refers to hands-on treatment for body structures including muscles, fascia (Surrounding wrap of muscles and internal organs), joints and even visceral organs. Manual therapy aims to release any restrictions on those structures in the body and decrease pain.
The well trained manual therapist can easily find out the problem spot with palpation skill (sensing abnormal muscle tone and joint mal-alignment) and correct it with manual techniques (e.g. Spine Adjustment) or specific tools (e.g. Graston, Vibrocurssor machine).
Properly applied manual therapy techniques demonstrates a significant effect in decreasing pain and removing tissue or joint restrictions. More importantly, it makes exercise program effectively since neuromuscular system works better after joint receptors are stimulated by hands-on techniques.
3. What makes your treatment unique and excellent?
I think one of the major problems in modern medical treatment is focusing only on the pain site not trying to find the source of pain. I find the solution by assessing posture, biomechanics of movement, and general or specific alignment of the body. This perspective enables me to find the source of symptoms resulting in long-lasting treatment effect.
I also emphasize manual therapy especially in the initial phase of treatment to decrease abnormal muscle restriction and to restore proper alignment of the body. Good hands-on skills optimize body condition which makes the exercise program more effective.
4. How do you make treatment plan and what do you think is the idealistic treatment plan?
In the first exam, we will try to find the source of problem and will make a treatment plan to resolve your problem permanently. Other than the session at the clinic, the treatment plan includes your home exercise program and habitual modification. As a practitioner, based on the result of the exam, I will find the best treatment method for your specific condition.
If there is some inflammation inside the area, manual therapy and exercise become less effective. So, we will focus on decreasing inflammation at the beginning of the course of treatment. Ice/cryotherapy, gentle massage, and gentle exercise can be helpful.
Once inflammation decreases, manual therapy techniques are going to be utilized to release the restriction on the body. Manual therapy will effectively decrease pain and increase joint flexibility. Assistive tools such as Vibrocurssor machine and Graston tool can be used to remove strong scar tissues. Manipulation and Mulligan technique will be applied to decrease joint restrictions as well as facilitate joint mechanoreceptor.
A customized exercise program can bring a significant effect not only because their core muscle is getting stronger but also patients can have carry-over effect by doing home exercise program continuously.
5. Why is long-term pain medication not recommended?
Pain medications simply mask your symptoms; they don’t treat the root cause of your pain. Chronic use of pain medications sensitizes a portion of the nervous system and modifies the way your brain and spinal cord interpret pain signals. If you take chronic pain medications for a long time, your condition may actually get worse.
6. Do you accept my insurance?
We accept PPO/POS plans for most insurance companies. Although most insurance companies cover physical therapy, what they cover specifically varies greatly. Please contact our office so we can verify your specific plan benefits.
7. How long will my physical therapy sessions last?
Each treatment session will be 50-55 minutes one-on-one session with our physical therapy doctor.
8. What if I don’t have insurance?
If your insurance doesn’t cover physical therapy, we can discuss an affordable payment plan for you. The first session only charges $75 without insurance. So, you can try the first session for exam, treatment and consultation before making your decision for further sessions.
9. If I have both in-network and out-of-network plans in my insurance plan, what is the advantage of using Out-of-Network Plan instead of In-Network Plan?
If you go to physical therapy facilities accepting in-network plan, the clinic is usually high-volume practice, seeing 3-5 patients per hour for one practitioner.
As an in-network provider, fee for the session is already set very low regardless of their specific treatment method. This circumstance pushes them to make more appointments in a short time. Patients will see their physical therapist for only 10-15 minutes of individualized time and the rest of time, they usually work with physical therapy aids for exercise program. Moreover, documentation that is required by insurance companies makes it more difficult for PTs to focus on treatment.
If you go to facilities accepting out-of-network plan, you can see one-on-one session with a physical therapy doctor usually lasting more than 45 minutes with quality care.
This is because there is much less pressure from insurance companies including paperwork and low reimbursement. At our clinic, one session lasts for 50 - 55 minutes with orthopedic physical therapy specialist.
We are able to make medical care decisions based on your individual needs and not on insurance company needs.
After our initial evaluation, we will provide you with a specific plan of care to resolve your condition and meet your functional goals. We do not employ a template approach to your care in order to meet time constraints.
You can expect to make significant progress in your condition within two weeks or we will re-evaluate our strategy and guide you to a more appropriate plan of care.
Because our focus is on you and not on the insurance company requirements, we can maximize your rehab potential.
10. What should I wear?
If possible, wear or bring comfortable clothing (shorts & t-shirts) that allow easy access to your treatment area. You can change your clothes in the treatment room right before starting the session.